Brac, NWP, GT harbour, Sth Church St pummeled by storm

| 07/02/2024 | 59 Comments

(CNS): Government officials began ariel damage assessments on Tuesday afternoon in the wake of the winter storm and found that Cayman Brac, North West Point in West Bay, parts of South Church Street and the George Town Harbour had borne the brunt of the huge waves. Pictures and videos of the sea surge and flooding circulated on social media, as the public recorded damage to new condos built far too close to the sea. The port building in Cayman Brac has also been impacted, but officials have not yet confirmed the state of the dock.

A spokesperson from Hazard Management Cayman Islands said that an early aerial survey found that the very large waves had breached parts of the western coastline on Grand Cayman, inundating certain locations along the shoreline and scattering debris across several roads.

This was “just a very preliminary assessment” that will help in the decision about what should be a priority for the clean-up crews, they said. When it is safe to work, the survey will indicate where they should focus their attention and who may need to use the shelters because their homes had been inundated with seawater.

The preliminary assessment also informs logistical considerations for the more detailed assessment process, which will begin once the seas are calmer. The HMCI spokesperson said that the Creek Dock on Cayman Brac is an example of the critical infrastructure that is a priority for the assessment process.

A more detailed assessment of damaged property is expected to get underway today, Wednesday. In an official update at about 5pm Tuesday, officials said weather conditions had begun to improve across all three islands. But the high pressure behind the cold front will continue to produce strong winds, and the public should still stay away from coastlines.

Several roads are still closed, but emergency responders are working to clear them. The police will be assisting with traffic control, but caution should be taken while driving to avoid obstructions such as fallen tree limbs and power lines.

Damage assessment has also begun in the Sister Islands. In-depth damage assessments have commenced at the Cayman Brac Port, officials said.

While the government is focusing on damage to public buildings and supporting people in need, the private sector developments that were hit are also making assessments. Video circulated on social media showed some of the worst-hit locations, including luxury developments that were were inundated with sea water, such as Oceana in South Sound and the unfinished luxury condo complex Sunset Point on North West Point Road.

Older properties, including the Cracked Conch, the Tortuga Bakery, Light House Point, and private homes along North West Point, were badly hit, as were some of the harbourfront properties in George Town.

Some of the developers of the newer damaged condo buildings on North West Point and South Sound were warned by the Department of Environment that they should be building much further back from the ocean or using other building techniques to allow water to wash through. In NWP, the dynamic coastline and deep water make the area very susceptible to exactly what happened on Tuesday, and the DoE has long been advising that the current legal setbacks are inadequate.

In the aftermath of the storm and the extreme damage resulting from irresponsible development, concerns were raised on social media about insurance hikes. With property insurance already unaffordable for many homeowners, many in the local community are saying that the issue of premiums going up because of people building in risky places has to be addressed.

There is a growing belief that damage to million-dollar condos built too close to the coast in West Bay is not the fault of single-family homeowners in the middle of the district, and they should not have to pay for poor decisions where official advice has been ignored.

See the damage in West Bay below:


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , , ,

Category: Local News

Comments (59)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just hoping this Nor Wester is not deemed “Climate Change”. These have been around for a long time; Mother Nature is reminder you not to build your house upon the sand. Long ago ppl respected teh ocean and built their houses in-land

    28
    3
  2. Anonymous says:

    Asking for a friend. Who can I sue? Anyone who got duped in buying so close to the shoreline should be reimbursed by either the developer or by the members of the Central Planning Department. Families, pets and properties were placed in harms way. Why wasn’t DOE advice wasn’t taken into consideration? It’s ridiculous that a government entity that was set up to protect the environment, paid by the people has no say at these meetings?

    16
    30
    • Anonymous says:

      Duped? What happened to common sense?

      29
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      Sue your parents for not bringing you up well enough to make better decisions. Anyone would have known this would happen to those properties if they had even a modicum of common sense.

      33
      2
      • Big Bobo In West Bay says:

        8:43, Good point. Also, many have forgotten what happened along the coastlines when Hurricane Ivan hit 20 years ago.

        21
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not the sharpest tool in the drawer.. and even I moved my family Inland..
          How dim are you to want to Sue someone because you are just plain dumb ?
          Guess that would be your foreberarers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hilarious…This is Cayman we are talking about.

      17
      6
    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should get Lionel Hutz to represent your friend.

    • Hubert says:

      8:55, Stop asking for a friend. 😡

      8
      3
    • Some guy with odd shoes says:

      If you are a “dupee”, then blame yourself. There is a reason why people didn’t build close to the water in the past, and there is a reason why developers do: The developers get government concessions, build their luxury accomodations, sell them, get out and leave the consequences to those who purchased them.

      Agree with you that DOE should have MUCH more influence. That is also all our fault, by allowing the developers and builders and CPA to run untethered.

      23
      1
  3. Anonymous says:

    The ocean is beautiful until it comes to visit you.

    36
    1
  4. Anonymous says:

    Some people have more money than common sense. Buying/building on the water is plain STUPID.

    36
    2
  5. Anonymous says:

    Developers and realtors be like, “never been a better time to…bye!”

    38
    1
  6. Anonymous says:

    Love all these johnny come lately learning the hard lesson of why there were not already houses on these shore side lots they are building their multimillion dollar vacation homes on.

    cant hear you can feel.

    70
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Not all are newcomers. Vivo is being crowdfunded by the I Love Cayman FB group even though DOE has and continues to warn against being that close to the sea in that area. Only in Cayman.

      Real estate buyers better off reading DOE reports than falling for agents and developers sell tactics.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And this is why Caribbean people DON’T live close to coastlines. We know better. We have always lived inland because the sea is to be respected at all times.

    78
    1
    • Some guy with odd shoes says:

      Yes, and even then every rare once in a while (Ivan, Storm of ’32) there are few places that are safe.

      It’s why the smart people are building on the Brac bluff. Too bad for the Brac that the roads and other infrastructure will always be FAR behind the development. As with here on Grand, those with their hands on the tiller can’t see beyond the horizon.

      12
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      It’s comical and sad that you assert the “know better” abilities of “Caribbean people,” but those are the same ones who have sold out their elders property for a quick buck… And who term after term elect corrupt Ministers…

      2
      1
  8. Anonymous says:

    Setbacks are maybe part of it, but elevation is just as, or more, important for these structures. For those who have been here for 20 years or more, we remember after Ivan that many new homes near water were designed with a high foundation, and many had the first level as a “sacrificial floor”, using it for storage or maybe a game room, but not living, kitchen or bedrooms.

    46
  9. Anonymous says:

    What happened to Allure development in the storm only 5 ft setback? Probably survived this time

    23
    2
  10. Anonymous says:

    The NW Point new development; couldn’t have happened to a more deserving developer who cares very little about the environment. No mangroves to remove there… but I pass on living there.

    76
    1
  11. Anonymous says:

    ❓If you build in the forested area, but forget about forest management as fire prevention why should an insurance reimburse your losses?
    ❓If you build on a beach and the next storm washes your house out to sea, why should an insurance company reimburse you?
    ❓If you build your house of straws and sticks in a hurricane area and it is damaged or destroyed, why should an insurance company reimburse your loss?
    ❓If your “system” of Waste Management is an open air dump that periodically catches on fire, why should any insurance pay for your cancer, birth defects, etc. treatments?
    ❓If you choose to live in a highly toxic, unsafe, risky for health and property environment, who is to blame for the your choice?
    ❓If you allow your shameless government to lead you to the edge of a cliff, who is to blame?

    look in the mirror and see who is responsible.

    50
    4
  12. Anonymous says:

    And so the insanity continues. DOE continually advising the government, the developers and the planning dept. But their advice isn’t what people want to hear so they are shouted down.
    Now ALL of us have to pay for this madness with even greater insurance premiums, even though my house is nowhere near the sea and on higher ground. One more insurance increase and I won’t be able to afford it – all thanks to this madness.

    76
    2
  13. Anonymous says:

    what about the west bay dolphins….swim away or landfill??

    19
    2
  14. Anonymous says:

    A few years ago, after the Covid lock-down, most of the planning commissioners were developers. From what I understood, they did not bother with set-backs and announcements for development as required — while National Trust and DOE SCREAMED that it should be slowed down and changed–but they have no power!!. The majority of the planning commission were the developers! So did they have free rein to allow themselves to build unfettered without having proper over-sight from a proper planning board because they were the majority of the board? And even more developers jumped in as well. Let me know if I have this wrong.

    52
    3
    • Blow Me A River says:

      I’m letting you know you have it wrong. Research the CPA Minutes since 2019 (available online) and look carefully at the decisions made by CPA. Then look at the Development & Planning Act and Regulations against which these decision were made, and decide whether or not the decisions were in flagrant disregard of the Act and Regulations and thus illegal, unreasonable and not in line with the Development Plan. Then decide who was ‘allowed to build unfettered’- unsurprisingly, nobody…

      3
      28
  15. Anonymous says:

    “Some of the developers of the newer damaged condo buildings on North West Point and South Sound were warned by the Department of Environment that they should be building much further back from the ocean or using other building techniques to allow water to wash through. In NWP, the dynamic coastline and deep water make the area very susceptible to exactly what happened on Tuesday, and the DoE has long been advising that the current legal setbacks are inadequate.” I REALLY HOPE their insurers know this and refuse to pay out on their policies. 😡

    67
    2
  16. Anonymous says:

    Still no reports yet on sand movements at SMB?

    21
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Dont need reports, you can actually see for yourself. Some decent replenishment on south SMB (around Grandview for example).

      23
      6
  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad the folks who live on the shoreline are ok.

    My regret is that the “storm” didn’t take some of those luxury condos away. Unna caan hear!

    Rich can build right in the oceans edge, but I have to give govt 10ft setbacks on my property!

    60
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      It is not only effin irresponsible, but just plain stupidity to build just a few feet above sea level, so close to the sea..
      The condos in the above clip are not safe to live on in and a wasted investment.

      46
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        Most of these real estate “investors” were not around for Ivan. Boy, will lots of people be surprised when the next big hurricane hits!

        30
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          Correct . Walkers Road to Hurley’s.
          Ivan delivered a $3.2 billion damage estimate, the next cat 4 storm will be ten times that now, given recent developments.
          Jot those numbers down.

          15
        • Anonymous says:

          Next big one? You all realize this was just a nor’wester? Imagine a tropical storm? I wouldn’t take one of these units even if they were giving away?

          14
      • Anonymous says:

        Yet, both the owners and the market are now stuck with them.
        Insurance will rebuild, premiums will continue to be jacked up and people will pay. We have hurricane season in 4 months time , then the ‘24/ ‘25 winter nor-wester season , to follow from November.
        The bigger problem, other than the subject property as an example, is there are many new residents here now that have probably never experienced a proper nor-wester , let alone a tropical storm or above. In their ignorance, they have thrown money at a property that was promoted by both the developer and realtor, to now expose its vulnerability during an elevated weather event.
        You can fix the smashed windows and kitchen, buy new appliances and a few new cars , but the risk of having to go through it all again will be ever present for a good portion of each storm season. You are in a gambling game, where insurance companies hold all the aces.

        15
  18. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure that silver car will be on eCaytrade shortly “Used to run well, needs a bit of TLC, one lady owner driven from new, $7.5k ono”.

    The owner is very welcome to cut and paste this language into their advert if it would assist.

    41
    1
  19. Anonymous says:

    To quote my grandmother: If you cant hear, you will feel

    46
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      I like the sound of your grandmother! She speaks more sense then all of our political class put together.

      17
      1
  20. Anonymous says:

    The perks of luxury oceanfront living!!! Problem is, insurance rates on my in-land home will soar!!

    Why??

    62
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Quite right, there should be a separate insurance premium band payable by those who choose to live within 250ft of the ocean, why the rest of us should have to pay is unknown!

      51
      1
  21. Anonymous says:

    Video is crazy. Perfect example of what happens when people build on land they shouldnt.

    This ‘storm’ was nothing compared to the devestation a hurricane brings. Add 10ft plus of storm surge and another 10 foot of wave height from Ivan … hope the first floor residents know how to swim.

    Wake up call? Or do we need to wait for another major hurricane before we impose some logical building standards?

    70
    1
  22. Anonymous says:

    The traffic this morning is just ridiculous. Even at 9:45 am Bobby Thompson is clogged bumper to bumper. They should have appealed last night and this morning that those who do not have to be on the roads today should stay home. Even a few cars would make a difference. The release said police would be out directing traffic, but not one in sight.

    69
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      A collosal failure to control the traffic today, but as usual, expect the worst and hope for the best.

      Pass the rum.

      46
      1
    • Anonymous says:

      Everybody who could work from home should have been strongly encouraged to do so!

      17
      3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.